What happens once you have made a complaint?
We have two stages to our complaints process. If you want support at any time during this process you can contact the Housing Ombudsman Service.
Stage one: our priority is to put things right, and if we can at this stage we will
Your complaint will be investigated by a Home Group colleague, who will look after you throughout your stage one complaint.
When should you contact us with your complaint?
You should contact us with your complaint within six months of the event taking place.
How long will it take?
You want to know the outcome of your complaint quickly. So, we aim to:
- Acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days
- Provide a decision or outcome letter addressing your complaint within 10 working days
Somethings take a little longer to sort out. If that’s the case we’ll contact you with an action plan to put things right and keep you updated while we deliver the plan.
We want you to be happy with this action plan. This is why we will keep your complaint open until you are happy it has been sorted. When all the actions have been completed we will send you a stage one outcome letter.
Putting things right - what you can expect
When something hasn’t gone right it’s important to say sorry, and we’ll always do this. We also learn from our mistakes so they don’t happen again. See our accountability framework.
You can also expect an explanation of what has gone wrong, why and how we plan to put things right.
We consider requests for discretionary compensation as part of the complaints handling process. See our complaints, compliments and comments policy. Awards for compensation will be offset against any outstanding arrears and/or debt. We will then pay the balance to you.
If you are unhappy with how we are dealing with your complaint
If you are unhappy at any point during our investigation, you can request your complaint is escalated to the next stage and/or you can contact the Housing Ombudsman Service.
Taking your complaint to the second stage of the complaints process
If you are unhappy with our plan to put things right or the outcome of the first stage, you can escalate your complaint to stage two (the final stage).
You will need to do this within eight weeks of us writing to you with your complaint decision or outcome letter.
We will ask you:
- What part of your stage one complaint remains unaddressed or outstanding
- What part of our response you disagree with and why
- What you would like the outcome of your complaint to be
You can let us know you want to go to stage two by:
- Telling the person who is dealing with your complaint
- Calling, emailing us or joining a live chat. Here are all the ways you can contact us.
Unfortunately, you can’t take your complaint to stage two if:
- Your reasons are unrelated to the original complaint. If you have an unrelated issue about something that has gone wrong, let us know by making a new complaint. That way we can properly investigate it for you
- You didn’t let us know within eight weeks of receiving the complaint decision or outcome letter.
Sometimes life gets in the way and you may miss the eight week deadline. If that happens, we will take exceptional circumstances into account.
Stage two: checking decisions are thorough, reasonable and fair
During stage two a senior colleague will look at:
- The actions taken at stage one
- Any outstanding actions
It’s not a repeat of the full investigation. We check the actions and decisions taken at stage one were thorough, reasonable and fair.
How long will this take?
We will confirm your complaint is being reviewed and give you timeframes, and let you know which senior colleague is looking after you.
We aim to:
- Acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days
- Provide a decision or outcome letter addressing your complaint within 20 working days
Complex cases can take longer than 20 days to fix what has gone wrong. If this is the case we’ll be in touch with an updated action plan, and keep you up to date while we deliver it.
Putting things right
If there are things we need to do to put things right we will write to you to let you know what’s happening and when.
It’s important you’re happy with the action plan and how it is delivered. That is why we will keep your complaint open until you’re happy it has been fully resolved. One of our colleagues will work closely with you throughout and when all actions are completed you will receive your stage two outcome letter.
Further steps if you are not happy
You may feel unhappy with our 20 day decision response or our stage 2 final response (after the actions are completed). If that’s the case you can:
- Refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman Service. They look at complaints between customers and housing providers, like us. You can contact them anytime about your complaint. If you have been through both stages of our complaints process and you are still not happy, you can ask them to conduct a full investigation into your complaint. Contact the Housing Ombudsman Service.
- Ask a local councilor or Member of Parliament to consider the complaint for you.
- Refer it to the Local Government Ombudsman Service This is for complaints about our adult care services.
- First tier tribunals can resolve disputes between homeowners and ourselves. Find out more about First Tier Tribunals on the Government’s website.
- Lease Advisory Service can also support homeowners.
Some complaints fall outside our normal complaints process
- We may need a little longer to look at your complaint. It could because it’s complicated or we need to work with other organisations. If there is a delay we'll explain why and when you can expect a full reply
- Our insurance team may handle complaints about injuries or damage to property
- An appeal relating to the outcome of an insurance claim may be considered to see if there was a service failure not considered by the insurance claims process
- If you have a complaint about an event that took place longer than six months ago we wouldn’t normally consider it. If you feel there are exceptional circumstances, please get in touch to discuss it further
- We are here to help. But we may refuse to deal with a complaint or deal with it differently if you act unreasonably. Please see our acceptable behaviour policy
- A first time service request like a request for repair, or a complaint about anti-social behaviour. Of course, if you’re not happy with how we’ve dealt your repair or ASB report then please let us know by making a complaint
- Some policies and procedures have their own right to appeal. For example, if you aren’t happy with your level of priority when applying for a home you have the right to appeal outside our complaints process
- Issues that are in court or have already been heard by a court or a tribunal
- An attempt to reopen a previously concluded complaint or to have a complaint reconsidered where we have already given our final decision at stage two